Oct 19, 2011

TREND | Street art that will make you smile

"Hi, How Are You" mural
Daniel Johnston
Austin, Texas
Just like all contemporary art, street art is created for a number of different reasons. Sometimes the message behind a mural or sidewalk chalk drawing is political or meant to inspire social change. Many notorious street artists such as Banksy usually fall under this category. Sometimes street art can be gang affiliated or just tagging to leave an artist's personal mark on a place they have been. But my favorite trend in street art is the kind that is created for pleasure of the artist and intended to make passerby's stop and smile. I have walked by the "Hi, How Are You" frog more times than I can count and usually someone is there looking at it or taking pictures in front of the wall. The mural is friendly, welcoming and adds some fun to what would be a humdrum boring brick wall.
When artists create something in the most public of places, a street or sidewalk, it is guaranteed to be viewed by the public. Unlike a museum where people have to choose to come in and view the art. These street artists are putting out messages that are going to get noticed where the viewer wants to see it or not. It is refreshing to see art with the intentions to simply brighten someones day.
Ben Flynn (A.K.A Eine)
London, England
 Ben Eine is an artist out of London. He is known for using bright colors and original lettering styles to decorate the streets with upbeat words. He did the entire alphabet on a street that was later renamed "Alphabet Street" because of his designs. His art adds something beautiful and fun to otherwise dirty urban areas. Eine's art is somewhat more permanent than most street artists because the residents in the city accept and enjoy his paintings. Although I think street art that has an important social or political message is meaningful and can be world changing; it has the downside of being controversial and therefore destroyed more often. An artist like Eine whose intentions are just to make people notice, appreciate and walk on in their day a little happier has a better chance of keeping their public paintings intact. Most street art does fade away after a short period of time and that makes it even more special for those who get to see the art before it is gone forever.

"Eiffel Tower Sand Sculpture"
Julian Beever
Julian Beever uses chalk to create these "trompe-l'oeil" images. He photographs them at just the right angle to make these insanely realistic optical allusions. Beever is one of the most famous street artist and his drawings show that art isn't just for galleries or museums. He creates art for anyone and everyone to see and be amazed by. The final product of his work is actually the photograph because the chalk will wash away but during the short time the drawing exists on the pavement it is a real treat for people who get to experience it. I watched an interview with Beever on CBS and a woman visiting New Orleans said that seeing his chalk drawing made her entire trip to the city worthwhile. Art can really change people's emotions. It can be used to express many ideas and feelings. Street art is even more powerful because the artist is forcing people to see their creations and many artists use that power to make the world a prettier, happier place.

Sara Beth Worcester

1 comment:

  1. I really agree with your last sentences that art changes people's emotions. I have walked by the frog street a lot but I never paid attention to it and haven’t aesthetically thought about it. Just thought it is cute and funny and passed by. While I was reading your writing, however, I could look at it deeply and think of the intention of the artist. We all live in the fast going world and sometimes it’s even hard to keep our composure because we are too busy to look around us. Now, these artworks evoked me to philosophize about the meaning of life and made me laugh and be happy just by watching those.
    -Jihyun Woo